Michelin promises its tyres will make F1 drivers ‘happy’

Suzuka (Japan), Sep 22 (IANS) Tyre manufacturer Michelin promised its product will let drivers race flat out and make themselves happy if it wins the tender to supply tyres to Formula 1 cars from 2017.

Many drivers dislike the current Pirelli tyres, which they have to manage to required race distance by driving at reduced speeds and Michelin chief Pascal Couasnon is hopeful of making the drivers happy with its tyres going three seconds a lap faster.

“Michelin could really help the sport come back to its origins. I don’t want to talk about Pirelli but at least the philosophy Michelin brings is high, stable performance for a given lifespan,” Couasnon was quoted as saying by the BBC on Monday.

Pirelli, which is in competition for the tender with Michelin, says it is only producing the tyres it has been asked to and can build any tyres F1 wants.

But drivers and senior engineers in teams privately express their doubts about whether Pirelli could produce more durable tyres even if asked to do so.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has been supportive of Pirelli and critical of Michelin so far.

Couasnon said part of Michelin’s bid has been to explain to Ecclestone why it thinks its approach to tyre design could improve the spectacle of F1. The two parties met recently as part of the tender process.

“We explained that we were not opposed at all to bring technology to increase the show. So multiple pit stops is something we are not against,” Couasnon said.

“We pretty much explained our philosophy, which is let’s bring a tyre that helps the drivers to drive 100 percent,” he said.

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